Why it’s crucial we teach our kids the value of hard work

By Matt Danswan

My eldest son recently landed a job at McDonald’s. As a dad, I am so proud to see him out earning some money, and also learning the value of it from a young age, not to mention having to go through the interview process and then be offered one of the positions.

McDonald’s is a great training ground, and in fact I worked there as a boy. They had a saying back then, which I believe they still do today, and that is, ‘If there’s time to lean, there’s time to clean’.

There’s no such thing as downtime at McDonald’s. If there is no one to serve or no burgers to make, then all staff must be cleaning. And in this age of helicopter parenting, where our kids are mollycoddled, and where ‘everyone gets a prize’, a job for your child is a stark reminder of how hard you have to work in the ‘adult’ world.

Not everyone wins in the real world.

At home, we encourage our children to dream big and that the world is their ‘oyster’, but the same time, they are going to have to have a very good work ethic if they are going to achieve their dreams. There is a world full of talented people who don’t have the work ethic required to succeed in what they are good at.

Now the next step is to teach him to budget. He has four years left of school, so we have set a goal of saving $50 per week for four years. That means that by the time he leaves school, he will have $10,000 in savings, not including interest earned.

This will still allow him to spend some money so he still feels that independence, while at the same time give money to church to learn from a young age to support the work of God

We all love our kids and want the best for them, but we also need to realize that life is hard and that the sooner they learn the value of work, the better position this will put them in for the future.

As a side note, I came across this great little video of Tommy, who works in a fictitious McDonald’s store. My son and I laugh about it and I have advised him to make sure that he at least does his job better than Tommy. But Tommy is thinking big. He wants to be a pilot and so is staring with a job at the airport. Well worth a quick watch and laugh.


Matt Danswan is the CEO of Initiate Media, publishers of Christian Woman. He also blogs at His new book NOT Business As Usual documents the story of the building of Initiate Media debt-free.